I waited until my parents were settled by the TV with a cup of tea, then I grabbed the phone, and the phonebook, and took it to my room. It seemed strange, looking up the number of the person who lived right next door to you. Elizabeth Ashwood. A for Ashwood. I ran down the line of names beginning with ‘Ash’ with my finger. There were two. Shit. Of course there were two! She still had her husband’s name. Ashwood, E. The other Ashwood’s initials were B. W. so this one must have been her. I pressed each number on the keypad of the phone, and at each press of a button I began to fear more and more that she wouldn’t want to talk to me. Too late. It was ringing now.
“Hello, Lizzy here,” sang her voice.
I was silent. So was she.
“Is this…?” she asked, her voice trailing off.
“It’s Henrietta,” I confirmed.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have called I’ll just –“
“No, stay, please.”
We stayed silent. I lay down on my bed.
“I just like knowing you are there,” I said, “It’s like you are lying beside me and we can just be silent, but I can talk to you if I want to. Or something.”
I sounded so stupid, like a silly teenaged girl. Well, technically, I was still a teenager. But only just. Elizabeth laughed, “You are so sweet,” she said.
“Oh,” I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing. Was she undermining me? I must have sounded disappointed, for she quickly said, “No, Henrietta, I really want to see you.”
“I’ll can try to come over.” I’d have to sneak out unless I could think of a valid excuse. I suppose I could say I was off to visit my friend Grace.
“Alright,” she replied.
“See you soon,” I breathed, and we hung up.
I heard a car start up next door. What was she doing? It drove off in the opposite direction, but not long after, the same car parked on the other road that went alongside my house. The car door opened, then shut, and there was a knock on the back door. I opened it.
Henrietta tumbled in laughing, “I just went around the block and parked on the corner so that they wouldn’t –”
I pushed her into the wall and kissed her. Her hair was tousled and her loose shirt was already halfway unbuttoned. I stopped to look at her face. Her eyes were still closed, and her the corner of her mouth twitched into a smile. She sighed, “I didn’t think you’d want me again.”
“I don’t want you,” I joked, “but I thought it would be awkward if we weren’t talking and living right next door.”
“We never talked before anyway.”
“True,” I shrugged, “and we still don’t, according to everyone else.”
She kissed me.
“I’m only home for two weeks,” she said, “but I’m cool with whatever you want to do. We don’t need to have a great big chat about it.”
I was slightly dispirited.
“Two weeks is fine,” I said eventually.
“I’d like to see you again in the next holidays, but it’s no big deal. I’ll survive.”
“Really? I want to see you then too.”
Her face lit up, and seeing her so happy at the thought of seeing me made my head spin. She wants me. And by God, I wanted her. I pressed my body up against hers and kissed her again. She turned me on so easily, and we were both ravaging each other desperately. I took her right there, up against the wall, and she moaned in delight as she came. She pushed me onto the floor and took charge, stripping any items of clothing that got in the way of her fingers or her kisses. Every moment was better than the last, until I could take no more. She withdrew slowly and rested over me, holding herself up with her arms on either side of my neck. She lowered her body down onto mine, so that our sexes were touching, and kissed my lips.
I rolled onto my back and lay beside Elizabeth. This woman was incredible. I wanted her to be mine. She turned her head a kissed my shoulder.
“My parents think I’m staying the night.”
Elizabeth smiled. She sat up.
“Well, you’d better stay the night then.”
“Is that okay?” I asked.
“Is that okay,” she scoffed, shaking her head in disbelief.
I smiled and sat up too.
“Shit, my parents will see my car on the road in the morning, may I park it in your garage?”
“Oh, of course,” she said, “Would you like a dressing gown?”
I was stark naked. “Maybe,” I giggled.
I went outside with her gown on and drove my car into her driveway while she opened the garage door. I parked my car beside hers.
“I’ll have to back out and park it outside our house when they go to work,” I said to her.
I got out, and she led me to the bedroom.
“Are you hungry? Thirsty?” she asked.
“Only for you,” I replied cheekily, as the gown slipped off my body onto the floor.
We got into her bed, both naked, and lay down on our sides, facing the same way. I was behind her, and I kissed the nape of her neck. She reached behind her and stroked my arm, then pulled it around her like another blanket. I tucked my legs up against hers. I traced my fingertips in patterns around the top of her back, and she sighed.
I knew it was too soon to say I love you, but I still thought it.
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